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Europa League Review: Liverpool win 8-goal thriller, Inter Milan & Spurs draw
Liverpool went in front in the fourth minute after a comical own goal by Juhani Ojala, with the ball clattering into the defender’s face and then past the goalkeeper.
Young Boys, though, hit back via a mistake of Liverpool’s own doing, as Raphael Nuzzolo slotted in following Jose Enrique’s dwelling on the ball. But, just two minutes later, the Reds restored their advantage as Andre Wisdom powered home a header following a corner by Nuri Sahin.
Seven minutes into the second half, Ojala made amends for his earlier gaffe as he nodded in to make it 2-2. Soon after, the home side went in front as Eulogio Zarate executed a chipped finish past goalkeeper Brad Jones. Yet the Reds hit back as Sebastian Coates’ header nestled into the corner.
In an error-strewn encounter, Liverpool finally took charge as substitute Jonjo Shelvey fired home two sweet strikes to clinch all three points.
Also in Group A, Antonio Di Natale came off the bench to net a stoppage-time equaliser as Udinese drew 1-1 with Anzhi Makhachkala in their clash at Stadio Friuli.
Andre Villas-Boas cut a furious figure in the Tottenham dugout as his team had three goals ruled out in their Europa League stalemate with Lazio.
The Italian giants came to White Hart Lane on the back of a five-match winning streak, but they were outplayed for large parts of their Group J clash, which Villas-Boas will feel his side should have won.
Elsewhere in Group J, Maribor claimed their maiden Europa League group stage victory after downing Panathinaikos 3-0 in impressive fashion.
Shola Ameobi came agonisingly close to firing Newcastle to an opening Europa League victory in Group D as the woodwork and Maritimo goalkeeper Romain Salin combined to thwart him in a game that ended goalless.
The 30-year-old, captaining a much-changed side at the Estadio dos Barreiros, hit both the post and the crossbar and saw Salin block another effort on a frustrating evening for the Magpies in Madeira.
Also in Group D, Bordeaux began their campaign with a dominant 4-0 win over Club Brugge which lifted them to the top of the standings.
Ludovic Sane and Yoan Gouffran gave Les Girondins a first-half lead before substitute Bjorn Engels added an own goal early in the second half.
Jussie then rounded off the scoring in the one-sided contest at Stade Chaban Delmas.
Yuto Nagatomo’s stoppage-time goal salvaged a point for Inter Milan in their Europa League Group H 2-2 draw at home against Rubin Kazan.
The Russian side went ahead in the 17th minute when Alexander Ryazantsev tucked in the rebound after Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic kept out Bebras Natcho’s penalty, before the Italian giants pulled level thanks to Marko Livaja’s 39th-minute header.
Jose Salomon Rondon then struck what appeared to be a shock winner for Rubin with six minutes to go, only for Nagatomo to equalise in the dying moments, in a group which also saw a goalless opening game between Partizan and Neftchi in Belgrade.
In Group B, holders Atletico Madrid got the defence of their title up and running in fine style with a 3-0 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
Atletico, unbeaten so far in the Spanish Primera Division, took a 37th-minute lead through Cristian Rodriguez and Diego Costa added a second before the break. Raul Garcia notched the third in the 63rd minute.
Academica suffered a torrid return to European football after a 40-year absence as Viktoria Plzen swept aside any hopes of an upset with a 3-1 triumph.
Andre Ayew headed a dramatic injury-time equaliser as Marseille fought back from two goals down to salvage a point from their Europa League Group C opener against Fenerbahce as the match ended 2-2.
In the same group, the heroics of AEL Limassol goalkeeper Matias Degra, and Oscar Wendt’s missed penalty, denied Borussia Monchengladbach victory on their Europa League debut in a fixture that finished 0-0.
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona produced a battling performance in the opening match of their debut campaign in the Europa League group stages as the match versus Athletic Bilbao finished 1-1.
Adrian Rochet’s goal gave the Israeli champions the lead against last season’s beaten finalists at San Mames.
Although Markel Susaeta levelled the scores before half-time and Athletic looked the more likely winners after the break, Gili Landau’s men held on for a point on a memorable night.
Also in Group I, Lyon made hard work of a straightforward 2-1 victory over Sparta Prague, with defender Mouhamadou Dabo sent to hospital after suffering a serious head injury.
FC Copenhagen demonstrated their European pedigree with an opening 2-1 victory in Europa League Group E against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde.
Georg Niedermeier’s late header saw Stuttgart deny Steaua Bucharest a first win over German opposition in 55 years in their Europa League Group E opener as they played out an entertaining 2-2 stalemate.
In Group F, Dnipro got their Europa League campaign off to the perfect start as two second-half goals saw them get the better of PSV with a 2-0 win in Ukraine.
Napoli, currently second in Serie A, claimed an emphatic 4-0 win over AIK in Group F with a hat-trick from Eduardo Vargas and a fourth from Blerim Dzemaili in injury time.
But experienced European campaigners PSV were surprised by a 2-0 defeat to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine, with Matheus Nascimento and an Atiba Hutchinson own goal doing the damage.
Bayer Leverkusen were surprisingly held to a goalless draw by Ukraine outfit Metalist Kharkiv to open their Europa League Group K campaign in disappointing fashion. In the same group, Rapid Vienna were left to rue a missed penalty as they suffered a home 2-1 defeat to Rosenborg.
Hannover came from two goals down to claim a hard-fought point in their Europa League Group L opener at FC Twente as the match finished 2-2, while Juanfran scored the only goal of the game as Primera Liga Levante held firm against Swedish side Helsingborg to claim an opening 1-0 win.
Jelle Vossen’s 22nd-minute header sent Genk on their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Videoton in their opening Europa League Group G game. Elsewhere, Sporting held on for a goalless home draw against Basel despite having Brazilian Xandao sent off after 40 minutes.